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Does Prison work?

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Interesting debate on Newsnight tonight, which took place inside a Prison, and asked Ken Clarke (Justice Secretary) his ideas for reform. Our prison population has reached it's highest ever level of over 80,000 and many are there on extremely short sentences; and over half will reoffend within a year of release. SO, what are we to do? Seems Ken's unconvincing brainwave is to involve the private "voluntary" sector in post-prison management, funded by "investors", who will receive a return from the tax-payer on the basis of "success" rates. Well. unless they cherry pick the 50% who don't currently re-offend, it sounds a risky investment. But before we get into this surreal proposition, it may be usefull to ask why; why is it now imperitive that we reduce the prison population? Aside from the fact that it currently isn't working. could it be the fact that Ken, in this era of austerity, has got to radically reduce costs overall? In which case, any serious attempt at post-prison management would cost an arm and a leg and thus not fit the political imperitive. SO, where do we go from here? :?

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In the short term we are going to have to put up with KCs half baked ideas. Successive governments have shied away from building new prisons which has landed us in our present calamitous state.

 

As for whether prison works, what does? At least 80% of the people who are sent to jail have run through several cautions; probation; fines etc etc, and none of those worked either.

 

Happy days

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At least 80% of the people who are sent to jail have run through several cautions; probation; fines etc etc, and none of those worked either.

 

Therein lies the problem. By the time an individual gets sent to prison for anything more than a few weeks they are usually already an established career criminal. They've had years and years of playing the system and, by and large, beating it.

 

If prison was a first resort rather than the last it, and if young men (usually) got sent down for at least six months early enough on in their criminal careers, the it would stand a much greater chance of being effective.

 

There's no need for excessively harsh conditions and additional punishment within prisons, the impact of being locked away for months at a time and missing out on being there for events which the rest of us take for granted - things like seeing friends, Christmas, family weddings, birthdays, being powerless to help during a crisis at home - does have a strong impact on a young man in his mid to late teens.

 

I honestly believe that if we were to lock them up younger, alongside other relatively inexperienced criminals to minimise the "university of crime" effect, and for a period of time which was long enough to make them think, then we'd at least have a fighting chance of turning a fair proportion of these lads around.

 

The bleeding hearts and liberals will probably throw their hands up in horror at the idea of locking up 14 year old lads for 6 months or a year. But that is exactly the age we need to catch them at if we're to show them that the path they're choosing has real and unpleasant consequences.

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Well of course prison works..... when a burglar is in prison he can't burgle houses. If he comes out and burgles again; lock him up for twice as long and if he still doesn't learn the lesson; give him 10 years.

 

Build the prisons, ignore the liberals and bring back capital punishment to free up even more room instead of treating criminals better than we do our pensioners.

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:lol: A fairly logical view there Baz, criminals in prison can't commit crime, thus their incarseration reduces crime levels. However, it's a fairly costly affair and apparently offers little or no deterent. It would seem that our prisons need to be re-organised and re-stratified; to segregate the various strata of offender, thus reducing the "university" effect. A good deal is being spoken about "community" sentencing, well fine; providing that such short term sentencing involves being locked up in a "local" jail and is subject to work supervision tasks EG. they could be out clearing the snow at the moment or helping farmers feed their livestock. Also, prison management needs to operate on the principle of conditioned reflex, by rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad. Niether should we allow more drug availability inside prisons than outside, by prohibiting person to person contact, they can talk to visitors on a phone through a glass screen for example. :?

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Does prison work? I don't know and I don't intend to find out! :wink::wink:

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It will be interesting to see if they replace the gym equipment and the 10 brand new pool tables they destroyed in the riots; especially in such times as these.....

 

I for one would be bloody annoyed if they did!

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Think they probably will Baz; we can't have prisoners on bread and water, working on hard labour tasks all day, they might be so exhausted, they couldn't smuggle drink and drugs in or riot! And IF it were remotely possible to introduce a system of carrot and stick, the prison inspectorate would take the stick away in the name of Human Rights or H&S. :roll:

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It will be interesting to see if they replace the gym equipment and the 10 brand new pool tables they destroyed in the riots; especially in such times as these.....

 

I for one would be bloody annoyed if they did!

 

What about all the building they destroyed too :shock: News report says they caused around ?3 million worth of damage :evil:

 

Oh and to make matters even worse apparently prison officers might/could refuse to man jails now due to 'health and safety grounds' and warnings that more riots may spread as more spending cuts bite in the coming months. :?

 

So what then... do we just free all the scumbags because no-one will look after them or what :roll::?

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Perhaps you are asking the wrong question, Why do we seem to have more crime in the UK, when compared to Europe, Why is our prison population bigger and are courts full :?:

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It seems to work in the rest of Europe, is it the Anglo Saxon mentality, we just have more criminals :!::?:

 

We do have more criminals because softer sentencing over the past decades has given birth to a rise in people who do not fear or respect the law. Couple that with the holiday camp style prisons we have and you have a recipe for disaster. We have lighter sentencing, half sentences, time off for good behaviour etc.... the crazy list goes on

 

Prison would work if it was punishment and not a short break at the taxpayers expense

 

There should be none of this rehabilitation nonsense until they have done time for the crime. Once they have paid their debt to society; then society can help them become normal again with rehabilitation assistance; otherwise, we need more long term prisons to keep the serial offenders inside...

 

Unfortunatel there are too many prisoner and human rights in the way at the moment so nothing can be done. The prisoners who have rioted will get new pool tables and gym equipment because it will no doubt breach their right to have them otherwise....

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Doesn't require a degree in psycology to realise that the old Army maxim of "you have to break them, in order to make them" produces the desired result. Good behaviour = reward; bad behavior = punishment; Pavlov's dogs - simples. Problem is, the toga wearing liberal benders who now run every facet of our society just won't let it happen. :roll:

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Think the Europeans imprison less folk in the first place? Is that because they are even softer on sentencing than we are OR is it possible that they have less crime than we do? :? However, the question I was addressing was prison regimes themselves, the biggest problem imo, is one of attitude: with a learnt disrespect for parents, then teachers, then the police and any other representation of authority, it's little wonder that prison officers are presented with a challenging intake. My suggestion is, that "attitudes" can be moulded by the appropriate use of carrots and sticks during one's stay at Her Majesties pleasure. :wink:

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OR is it possible that they have less crime than we do?

 

A good question Obs :wink: , Its the point I am making, Is it us Anglo Saxons that are prone to commiting crime, or is Europe doing something we are not that might be working :shock::wink:

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